chinatown, manchester in sun by ben williams
Ben Williams

Chinatown, Manchester

Creative Tourist

Wedged between Mosley and Portland Streets, Manchester’s Chinatown a riot of colour and flavour; restaurants serving up Chinese, Japanese, Nepalese, Vietnamese and Thai food jostle for attention at street level, with more places to eat, specialist groceries, karaoke bars and massage parlours occupying basements and upper floors. It’s always a fun place for dining out, and some of the city’s top kitchens are here. Every Mancunian has an opinion about the best restaurants in Chinatown.

If you’re looking for spice, the mighty Red Chilli gets a lot of love from foodies; it was one of the first to serve fiery Sichuan food in town. For Japanese, head for Yuzu – this restaurant doesn’t even serve sushi but is widely reckoned to be among the best in the city. Feast on homestyle rice and noodle dishes, and sample what may be the city’s best sake bar. Finally, Ho’s Bakery’s buns are not to be missed – honey buns, cream buns, coconut, and red bean buns, all pillowy soft in that way that only Chinese baking can be.

The small markets in Chinatown are a terrific resource for the home cook. Wing Fat, Woo Sang, and their competitors stock a broad selection of Chinese produce, including obscure greens you’ll never see in Tesco. The more adventurous can experiment with esoteric snacks like dried cuttlefish, day-glo pink panda-shaped biscuits, and squat doughy cakes filled with crushed peanuts.

Discover our top picks

Exhibitions 23 February 2018–6 January 2019, FREE

Annie Swynnerton: Painting Light and Hope at Manchester Art Gallery

The first major retrospective of work by the radical Manchester artist and feminist campaigner, Annie Swynnerton, opens in nearly 100 years at Manchester Art Gallery.

The Dragon Parade, Chinatown Celebrations and Fireworks
Families 10 February 2019, FREE

The Dragon Parade, Chinatown Celebrations and Fireworks

Follow the dazzling 175-foot Dragon from Albert Square to Chinatown for music, acrobatics, dancing and a glittering firework finale

Visual Arts 20 September 2018–19 September 2019, FREE

Manchester Art Gallery Highlights Tour

Take a tour around select artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection. Lead by different guides every day, each tour is personal to their taste. Tours start at 2 pm from Thursday to Sunday.

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Things to do right now

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Doctor Dolittle the Musical Tour
Families 11 December 2018–5 January 2019, from £16.50

Doctor Dolittle at The Lowry

Families 6–15 December 2018, from £6

Black Beauty at Z-arts

Släpstick at HOME
Families 13–22 December 2018, from £10.00

Släpstick at HOME

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry

Families 1 December 2018–6 January 2019, from £14

Stick Man at The Lowry

Cinema 7–20 December 2018, from £5.50

The Old Man & the Gun at HOME

Red Squirrel at Lightwaves
Festivals 7–16 December 2018, FREE

Lightwaves 2018 at The Quays

HOME at Christmas
Festivals 13 December 2017–20 January 2019,

HOME at Christmas

Cinema 7 December 2018–20 January 2019, from £5

Slapstick Film Season at HOME

A Virus Walks Into a Bar, John Walter: CAPSID at HOME, Manchester
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–6 January 2019, FREE

John Walter: CAPSID at HOME

The Royal Exchange Autumn Winter SeasonThe Royal Exchange Autumn Winter Season
Theatre 21 September 2018–12 January 2019,

The Royal Exchange Autumn / Winter Season